A military strike without preparing an international coalition would be ineffective and would turn the world against the United States, Ret. U.S.S. Cole Cmdr. Kirk Lippold said Tuesday.
"Right now we are not ready. And just launching Tomahawks is going to be ineffective, and do nothing but turn the world against us," Lippold said on "Fox & Friends."
"We need that broader consensus throughout the world to take unilateral military action against them," Lippold said. "I am for action. But appropriate action at the appropriate time."
President Barack Obama is contemplating a missile strike of limited scope and duration in response to reports last week of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians, including children.
Lippold indicated the credibility of the U.S. is on the line, and said the administration needs to "make sure the U.N. has the time they need to confirm it (the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government) with us, so we don't end up looking like it's once again a situation that we had in Iraq, right or wrong."
Lippold was the commanding officer of the U.S.S. Cole when it was attacked in 2000 by a suicide bomber while harbored in Yemen. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attack by boat that blew a hole in the side of destroyer and killed 17 American sailors.
Lippold also raised the possibility that the U.S. could broaden a limited strike into a broader military effort aimed at overthrowing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
"If the objective is to topple the Assad regime, let's put the forces in place throughout the region to be able to attack it. Not just lob a few Tomahawks from the eastern Mediterranean," Lippold said.
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